Anonymous blogging

A blogger at Obsidian Wings has been outed (i.e., had his real identity revealed).  The NY Times has an interesting collation of pieces on anonymity in response, and Jender had earlier taken the topic on here.  But since it is in the news, I thought it worth quoting a piece from publius, now know to be John Blevins:

I have blogged under a pseudonym largely for private and professional reasons.  Professionally, I’ve heard that pre-tenure blogging (particularly on politics) can cause problems.  And before that, I was a lawyer with real clients.  I also believe that the classroom should be as nonpolitical as possible – and I don’t want conservative students to feel uncomfortable before they take a single class based on my posts.  So I don’t tell them about this blog.  Also, I write and research on telecom policy – and I consider blogging and academic research separate endeavors.  This, frankly, is a hobby.Privately, I don’t write under my own name for family reasons.  I’m from a conservative Southern family – and there are certain family members who I’d prefer not to know about this blog (thanks Ed [Whelan, who did the outing]).  Also, I have family members who are well known in my home state who have had political jobs with Republicans, and I don’t want my posts to jeopardize anything for them (thanks again).

The reasons Jender has given are largely similar, but there are some interesting differences.  The main difference to my mind is that  for women bloggers (and surely some others) there is also a very alarming number of harassments, which we don’t want any of us to go through..

British Fascism Goes to the EU

‘Fascist’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot on the left, and many could be forgiven for thinking that using it to describe the new BNP members of the European Parliament is just one of those instances. But here’s Andrew Brons, new representative for Yorkshire and Humber:

It was on Hitler’s birthday, deliberately chosen, that the National Socialist Movement was formed in Britain in the 1960s. It was the first political organisation of the far right that Andrew Brons, the newly-elected British National party MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside, was to join – but not the last…

The group he first joined included among its members people responsible for arson attacks on Jewish property and synagogues. According to the anti-fascist organisation Searchlight, which has been tracking his career for decades, Brons appears to have approved. In a letter to Jordan’s wife, Brons reported meeting an NSM member who “mentioned such activities as bombing synagogues”, to which Brons responded that “on this subject I have a dual view, in that I realise that he is well intentioned, I feel that our public image may suffer considerable damage as a result of these activities. I am however open to correction on this point.”

By the 1970s, Brons had moved on the National Front, then the leading far-right group in Britain. He was voted on to the NF’s national directorate in 1974 and, as the NF’s education officer, he hosted seminars on racial nationalism and tried to give its racism a more “scientific” basis…
In August 1981 he led a rally in Fulham, west London in support of “rights for whites” and concluded his speech with a call for compulsory repatriation, chanting: “If they’re black, send them back.” According to Searchlight, in 1982 Brons led an NF march through Northfield on which marchers chanted “We’ve got to get rid of the blacks”.

Depressing UK elections

The British National Party, which is openly and explicitly racist (only whites can join), now holds two seats in the European parliament– and one of those seats went to the head of the party. The biggest UK party at the EU parliament is the Tories, followed by the nationalist, anti-EU UK Independence Party, which thinks pregnant women should resign their jobs. (And the Tories are forging an alliance with Europe’s hard-right). A lot of this is protest voting against all the major parties due to recent expenses scandals (where we learned of such things as a Tory MP charging his constituents for MOAT CLEANING). A lot is also protest-voting specifically against Labour, for which I of course have some sympathy (Iraq war, endless privatisation, etc). It’s may well bring down PM Gordon Brown, and looks certain to bring us a Tory government sooner or later. It’s also bringing out a lot of complaints against Brown, including the claim that he has used women politicians as “window-dressing” rather than taking them seriously. Brown’s reaction is stunningly stupid– he wants to add Alan Sugar, star of the apprentice, to his government. Brilliant: Reality TV stars are just what Labour needs to get taken seriously again. Worse yet, Sugar thinks that maternity leave has gone too far and that employers should be allowed to ask women about child-bearing plans at interviews. It’s pretty hard to imagine who’s still enthusiastic about Labour at this point. But wouldn’t it be nice if Brits could make like the Swedes and give their protest votes to Pirates instead?